The Best Worst Year in the Blue Ridge

I’m the kind of guy who compares anything to everything: my favorite TV show (Survivor) to my least favorite (The Bachelor), the best month (April) to the worst month (November), the greatest year of my life (2012) to the very worst (2006). I can’t help it. I compare. It’s what I do. It’s why I love rankings and ratings and top-10 lists, the best and the worst. I can’t get enough of the comparison game. I especially enjoy comparing all […]

When I Hate the Cross

I’ve been a Christian for as long as I can remember. My Christianness predates my Phillies fandom, my Survivor-mania, even my innate wandering spirit. Seems I’ve always known about God and Jesus and the cross and how I’d be nothing without Him, nothing without those two coarse beams of wood. And yet something about the cross irks me. I see people with gold chains and a dangling cross around their necks, and I don’t see them saying and doing what I’d expect […]

Four Seasons Later

I wore a sweater to work the other day. I climbed half-naked out of bed with a shiver and noted the morning temperature a brisk 49 degrees. So, I grabbed a light sweater from my closet — the first time I’ve worn one since March or April. Since I first moved to Asheville. Winter. Spring. Summer. Autumn. I’ve now called the Blue Ridge home for all four seasons. I remember sitting in training for my job as snowflakes fell outside the […]

Tradition Doesn’t Have to Suck

Before moving to Asheville six months ago, I ventured into an independent bookstore here with a friend. Malaprop’s, the place is called — a play on “malapropism,” a term for a comedic way of misspeaking. Think Michael Scott of The Office. Said the well-meaning Dunder-Mifflin manager: “I am not one to be truffled with.” Anyway, I’d visited Malaprop’s numerous times prior. I once worked a summer at nearby Camp Ridgecrest, and I’ve passed through Asheville in the years since. It’s one of my […]

29.

A couple housekeeping notes to start. First off, you might have noticed I’m starting to write more regularly with my awesome blogging brotherhood, Your Other Brothers. It’s becoming tedious to continue linking my new posts on that blog back to this one, so if you’d like to continue reading my posts over there, go ahead and subscribe to YOB! I’ll continue linking those posts on Twitter and Facebook, if that’s more your jam. Secondly, I want to re-commit to blogging here weekly. Wednesdays feel like […]

When a Handshake Becomes a Hug

I’m approaching my one-month anniversary of moving to Asheville and manning my very own dwelling place, and I’m slowly figuring it all out, from living room arrangements to cooking my own meals. For the life of me, I can’t figure out how to hang things on walls without puncturing said walls, per my lease, but maybe one day I’ll learn. RIP my majestic #RunningTo map that crashed to the ground after just two hours airborne. Maps need homes, too. #RunningTo […]

I’ve Never Been More Hopeful and Terrified

Last week I “celebrated” the one-year anniversary of my cross-continental road trip’s conclusion. And by “celebrated,” I mean to say I cried multiple times by day’s end. No dramatic gasping wheezing weeping sessions, but I dabbed my eyes throughout the afternoon and evening as I looked back at some images from the road, including that final one of myself gazing over Charlotte’s sparkly skyline. It was “supposed” to be the end of all my wandering. And by “supposed,” I mean to say that […]

Goodbye, Charlotte

On March 9, 2015, I concluded a 9-month road trip around the continent with a relocation from southern California to Charlotte, North Carolina. “Why Charlotte?” many people asked, including several Charlotte residents. “It wasn’t my favorite city,” I told plenty. If I wanted to start over in a “favorite city,” I’d be donning a year-round beanie in Seattle or consuming never-ending flows of beer and bratwurst in Milwaukee. As for Charlotte, it was the people. The church. The house. The close proximity to parents, […]